Our last and best chance…


I have been having the most totally weird and insane dreams lately. Like last night, I had agreed to attend an event with a friend, but forgot to ask how much the tickets were. Then when we were there, I asked her how much I owed her, she said, $2,000. OMG!!!!! I was stricken! But gamely got out the checkbook and wrote her a check, doing mental math about what this would mean to my bank account and life…

Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother depicts destitute pea pickers in California, centering on Florence Owens Thompson, a mother of seven children, age 32, in Nipomo, California, March 1936.Do you think this means I’m worried about the economy?? Duh!?! Of course it does. Having grown up with the spectre of the the great depression ever present in the admonitions of my parents, who had both lived through it, I am a child-once-removed of said depression. And I’ve always kind of felt that we will be revisited by such a calamity during my lifetime.

I’m thinking it’s here. It hasn’t really hit us yet, but it’s coming. I haven’t been able to sort out the details of what I’ve been reading and hearing about why we are in such a world of economic hurt right now. To tell you the truth, the various bailout scenarios I’ve heard sound like complete bullshit to me. They all seem to be expecting that putting bandaids on a cancerous lesion will cause it to heal. I know in my heart it won’t work, but I can’t give you a convincing description of how I know it.

Here’s what I do know. We live in a culture of excess. We have too much stuff. Way too much.

Great graphic from website about American Excess-Tionalism

Great graphic from website about American Excess-Tionalism

We think we need way more stuff than we do. There is no way on god’s green earth that I’m ever believing anybody who lives in America needs a Hummer. They cannot be justified. Period. Any culture that condones that kind of conspicuous consumption is doomed. It doesn’t matter what the stock market does, what the Dow Jones is, or where the S&P 500 goes. For any culture that embraces Hummers, there is catastrophe ahead.

I feel like we have a chance to use the present economic condition to wake ourselves up and profoundly change our way of life. If we do, America and the planet survive. If we don’t, the days of both are numbered. It feels that dramatic and stark a choice.

We need to buy less shit, do less shit, give shit away, and get to a much simpler place. We need to find meaning in being kind and generous to one another, in making things, in growing things, walking more places, and so forth. It’s really that simple, and it’s our last and best chance to put things right.

So are you in or are you out?


5 responses

  1. I agree on us having too much stuff, though T and I have cut way back because we have a tiny house. On the $2K – wow! I mean surely your buddy had to know that you could not afford that? And even if they did not, $2K is way over the limit of when to tell people what the price is. To quote Princess Bride, “Inconceivable!”

  2. Not as thrilled as I am! Do you have any idea how relieved I was when I woke up from that one?!